I admire the people who come alone to the gym. I see them sometimes. They forge ahead, sometimes listening to music, sometimes talking on their cell phones, sometimes just walking, walking, walking, but they're there. I make a point to smile and say hi to them. Some of them respond eagerly, some friendly, some not at all, and some act startled. Strange that a simple greeting can cause such reactions. But we don't live in a friendly world, so I guess it's not that strange that someone being friendly can cause that reaction.
Occasionally I'm at the gym alone. I always make sure to bring my old iPod and crank up the music. It's a change for me and quite relaxing at times just to exercise with only my thoughts in attendance. I find that I can involve myself deep enough in a daydream to almost forget the strains of exercising. I can't completely shut the world out like I did when I was kid, but I'm been told that wasn't very healthy the way I did it. It's not good when your fantasy world becomes more "real" than the real world, if that makes sense. Although it has certainly helped me write plays and novels, that ability to live in an unreal world. So who knows?
I think most authors have to have the ability to shut the world out. Fictional people have to move us. Fictional places have to reside firmly in our mind's eye. Events, good and terrible but all untrue, have to unfold for us. We live with one foot in this world and one in unworlds. There's just a thin line between writing and madness. I guess the world decides if we've crossed it.
The thing is ... sometimes ... I think my fictional worlds for all their danger and drama are much better than this world. And that's when I have to stop writing for a day or so to allow me to readjust. I know where the lines are. Really I do.
Talk to you tomorrow.